by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” (Ephesians 4:29 CEB)

How does today’s verse strike you? I like how it says, “Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth.” This definitely indicates you have a choice as to what you say if you say anything at all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel this way, though, does it? It seems like words can just fly out at times, and reeking havoc along the way. It usually happens when you’re dealing with the 3 Fs: when you’re frustrated, famished, or fatigued. Knowing your triggers can help you be careful when foul words might be inclined to come out of your mouth.

The Apostle Paul went on to write that words have real power. You can use them to build up others and the entire community of faith (the church!). This is evidenced because people pay attention to what you say, and those words can make a difference, for good or ill.

This became painfully obvious for us as our young child began repeating words she heard. We couldn’t figure out where some of those words came from, but most likely, they were words that just spewed out of our mouths without thinking. These were not helpful words, mind you, but words that made an impact regardless.

Your words can be used to build up or tear down. You might feel as though you have no control in those times, but you do. So be careful with what you say, and make sure your words are a benefit to everyone who hears what you say.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for the times I use my words to tear down as opposed to build up. I want the things I say to lead people to you, and I can only do this with your help. I pray in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

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